And they’re gone.
It’s bananas how swiftly smiles can switch from sweet to spoiled.
Trust peeled and tossed away for you to slip and break your mind on.
A mushy mash
An unwanted fruit.
Bunches of memories
grown close together
I remember him, and his voice. His smile and little teeth as he stood in his hand me down clothes beside the cedar bush, in the driveway at his grandmother’s house. I remember how his hair shone like a golden whisp in contrast to his two older brothers darker locks. He was knobby kneed and pink lipped and the visit his family paid to the brown house across the street was always a welcomed and anticipated time.
His Grandfather was the only grandfather I ever knew. I don’t know if he knows this of me. Mr. Kornegay, Cutler’s (and Corey’s & Chance’s) Grandaddy, would walk with me across the footbridge to the other side of the creek, through the bamboo forest, to look at the town water plant and all the empty wooden electric spools and unused cement drain ditch tubes. I could wear his fedora, walk with his cane, and appreciated his slow pace, as I was never one to rush to get to anywhere.
Mr. Kornegay would leave the garage door up in the back of his house and I’d wander in, spin the potter’s wheel, enjoy the cool of the shadows out of the sweaty summer sun. There was the swing by the garage, hung under the balcony, that all the neighborhood children were welcome to swing on.
I swang on that swing many a time with Mr. Kornegay and his grandson’s Cutler, Cory, and Chance. He told me I was always welcome. I played in his yard perhaps more than I even played in my own. He had rocks and moss and a creek, and a kind way with a little girl who’d known no grandfather of her own.
I was in second grade when he died. I remember my Mama sitting me on the bed in my room and breaking the news. The welling pain I can recall as vividly as I can recall his loving brown eyes, and wrinkled face. At 8, Mr. Kornegay’s death was my first bout with heartbreak. I’ve always loved him, I’ve never forgotten the love he showed me.
I’ve never forgotten the importance of his family in my childhood, either. The widowed Mrs. Kornegay, who’d always been grandmotherly to me, still kept the garage door open for me and still let me play in the creek behind her house. The Kornegay grandsons and I played, and grew up together. I was sandwiched in age by Cory who is one year older, and Chance, who is one year younger. I’d ride with them out to their house in the country every now and again, even through high school, and even after. But I remember most fondly our younger years, spent swinging on that porch swing under the balcony any time they came to visit their Gramma. Those Kornegay boys grew from great boys into great men.
Their Uncle Holt lives in the great brown house across the street from my childhood home now. I talk to him whenever I go see my Mama…Mrs. Kornegay must have died about 8 years back. I don’t see Cutler and Cory or Chance much anymore. The modern closeness of the internet keeps a line of memory open; an alley to peek into, to linger upon.
Cory lives in the mountains and wrestles wood into beautiful staircases, mantles and porches for a living. Chance seems happily married, liberal, living in the town of his alma mater, loving life.
Cutler, the youngest, the small boy who I remember looking up at me with his bright blond hair and sparkling blue eyes…the boy whose four year old grin I remember so well…the boy whose name was always so fun to say, is a father of two in his early 30’s and, well. He’s dying.
The unfortunate prognosis has set me back, and the raw feelings I felt that sad day in second grade, upon learning my sweet neighbor Grandaddy had passed away, those feelings returned full circle.
There’s nothing more the doctors can do is what i’ve read. Brain tumors.
Cutler will be taken away from the lucky ones who knew him. Who’ve known him. Who know him still. Who love him.
Cutler, I’m crying. I haven’t seen you in many years, but I’m crying. For you. For your brothers. Your Mama and Daddy. Your wife, your poor children. In anguish, crying for the love of your family, and for the memories I have of you all. I’ve followed your journey, and have wept, hoping for your life to be spared, hoping for your wonderful family, whom I love, to not be dealt this hard hand.
I wish you all the bravery in the universe, dear Cutler. I pray peace over the aching your family must endure when your spirit lifts from this earth. I wish you weren’t going. And I still hope you won’t.
If you do have to go soon, though, please give my regards to your Granddaddy. Thank him for me? And tell my Daddy up there I love him, too, and I miss him so bad.
Tears for you all.
All the crying, all the crying.
All the settling of scores.
The door slams of injustice, tears stirring dust out the door.
All the sorrows of tomorrow catching a western wind of wails.
All the crying, all the crying
All the world feels the hell.
All the world feels the hell.
All the praying, all the praying.
What you praying for?
In Jesus name you bless a heart, in the same breath wage a war.
All the sorrows of the sortid unheard
Money is the Lord
All the praying, all the praying.
What you praying for?
All the lying, all the lying.
All the ignorance deplored.
Spirits of the people lost in spite of a Jesus that they claim to adore.
All the sorrows of the foreign catching a western wind of wails.
All the crying, all the crying
All the world feels the hell.
The monthly depression always hits around the end of the month. I suppose it is really ever present, the sadness, but it visits more strongly near the end of the month. I associate the magnitude of the wave of possession it has on me with my ladies time or the phase of the moon. The moon is young. Naturally, I must be preparing to bleed.
Today I couldn’t get up. I didn’t take the kids to school. It’s Tuesday. The television has been on all day in my stead. I tried to work. I hate the internet.
It’s nearly 2:30pm and the goodness of the girls is running out. It’s my fault, their boredom. They are screaming and chasing and crying at one another. Bare feet on hardwood pounding back and forth around the house to give a rhythmic cadence to the chaos. I’m going to yell at them like I just did. I fully expect to be ignored by them both. The ends justify the means.
I hate the internet. Which is unfortunate.
It is my job to be on the internet. Without the internet, my job ceases to exist. And I become unemployed which is scary and terrible and I hate it.
But I loathe the damn thing. What is the internet? It’s a vacuous suckup that pains me. It furrows my brow. It has no sunshine, and I stare at it, lose focus, and want to shove it deep under the couch and walk very far away from it. Like to the top of a mountain.
I want to run from my computer. I want a thought extractor– a translator that gets the words in my head out and into the internet without me so much as having to crack a screen or clicking anything. A pen like thought magnetizer. Though, I suppose that it could also be considered a notebook.
I used to write in notebooks all the time. There are volumes on the floor in a blue box by my dresser at the moment. Scratchings that peeled from my head without the worries of backspace & delete interrupting the rush. Now I find it hard to write without first thinking of ripping out this badboy Acer and tapping out the alphabet on it. Clicketyclack wordzapt.
Regardless of internet hatred, here I am to write on it. I think the internet made the act of writing just for the sake of writing, pointless, really. What’s the point of writing in a notebook, when I could be blogging and “out there” on the internet. For all the world to see. It sickens me really. My notebooks were much more fruitful.
Of course, who am I kidding? The internet is not the only culprit I can blame in my decline of writing for pleasure. The children definitely leave a tasty grand craving for creative space in my mouth. With the name “Mama” being the chorus of my mornings, afternoons, & evenings I seldom have a splotch for such a trivial thing as self come time to be alone at night.
Speaking of those children. Boy did they get on my nerves today. “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama!”
Somedays, like today, when they won’t let me get a thought to myself in edgewise, all I’m thinking in my head is, “Daddy, Daddy, where the fuck is your Daddy?” Then I fold a piece of laundry or wash a damn dish, getting more and more agitated as the requests keep rolling in.
Mama, I want juice. Mama, I want a fruit snack. Mama, come look at this. Mama, I want some candy. Mama, can I have ice cream? Mama, can Lucia come over? Mama, can I play computer games? Mama, can you open this? Mama, come here. Mama, can you button this? Mama, can we go to twisty yogurt bar? Mama, can we go to the park? Mama, can I eat in the living room? Mama, Fern hit me. Mama, Ollie touched my dress. Mama, Fern bit me. Mama, Ollie (loud cries/whines). Mama, can I have sooooda?
A silenced “SSSSSHHHHHUTUPSHUTUPSSHHHUTUP” slips through my brain, and some bizarre noise escapes my mouth. Man. I hate being a growler.
But today, well, this afternoon, really, that’s what I was. A growler. Growling. At the children. With their constant blathering of babble. I’m over it, of course, now. I snuggled them and tucked them in bed, the Sandman has visited, they are dreaming.It is evening once again & no one is requesting of me anything. Now it’s lovely time.
I’ve got the bedside lamp on, the quilt over my legs, my head nustled in my pillows, the dreaded internet open and upon my lap to tap. The door to the porch is open & I can hear a boy strumming on a guitar. The crickets are chirping. And I’m feeling quite satisfied. And I’m feeling like I must get off this damn internet.
Well, I’m happy, that’s for sure. Happy in a fiercely independent and contentedly co-mingling manner.
I don’t know if I’m making the most prudent decisions, and I don’t particularly want to spill the manner of my stupidities out for the whole kingdom to ponder. My Mama reads this shit. Mama, rest assured, I am totally fine. And so are the girls. Flying the YOLO flag.
Somewhere along the line I acquired a roommate. A helper around the house. An entertainer. Someone that does the lawn and the dishes. Someone I can sit across the room from and be a friend to. A musical mate. A guitar teacher. A talker. A person to fill up the lonely part I’d made peace with. A handsome smile to light up the room. Shewlaawww(d). Hoo!
He’s nice, I like him. We’re friends. And I’m cool with it.
He’s here for now & he’s paying rent. He’ll be gone soon.
He’s out there on the porch singing & listening to this. And I’m gonna go join him.
There’s a boy at my house. And he’s been here for a few days. Sleeping on the couch. And I’ve been drinking a glass of wine tonight. And he’s on the back porch playing the guitar. And the thought of all of it together makes me smirk with an anxious satisfaction.
He’s the same old type of boy I’m always attracted to. Wandering in life. Handsome as hell. Dreamer. No car. (not something that has ever bothered me.) Musician. Complicated by life.
He’s sweet with my girls. He has three of his own (which always prompts the Brady Bunch theme in my head when I think about it.) They keep asking me where he is when he goes outside. Fern especially. Her own daddy has not been so involved in her life (his choice.boo). I don’t flirt with him in front of the girls. At least obviously. Because I don’t want them to get attached. Because I don’t really know what’s going on. And I don’t really know that I care to know. And i don’t wanna get attached. Unless I do.
Flow. Going with it. Playing it cool. Not hanging on the every move of him. Don’t even really want to? Though he is becoming a thought in my brain. I like to kiss his cheek I guess. Yeah.
I’ve been so very alone for so very long. I’ve become so independent. So very to myself. I think I’m not as good a talker as I used to be. And I don’t care to pretend I’m some great conversationalist. And that seems to be okay. Just the way it is.
I’ve snuck away long enough to think about it all. More wine. He doesn’t drink.
Tonight was family fun night at Fern’s preschool. There were dollar slices of pizza, free drinks, a baked goods sale, and dollar raffle tickets you could buy and drop into varying prize buckets with hopes of having your name drawn and winning. We bought several tickets, dropping most into the bucket for free passes for Tweetsie Railroad (a $156 value), quite a few in the “Frozen” gift basket bucket which held the movie, dress up clothes, books and other memorabilia, and some here and there in other baskets that caught the girl’s attention. There were about 50 prizes in all to be raffled away. With the anticipation of each name drawn and each prize given away, Ollie danced and hopped with excitement. Fern, too little to care about the prizes, was more into hugging on Mrs. ‘Silla at the baked goods table , glowing at the novelty of seeing her preschool teacher at night. One by one, names were drawn and called, prizes collected. We didn’t win the gift certificates to the restaurants on Walker Ave. We didn’t win the collection of art supplies. We didn’t win the summer fun basket. We held high hopes for the Tweetsie Railroad tickets, but alas, we didn’t win that, either. Ollie was sure we would win the Frozen basket. “Mama! I just KNOW we are going to win the Frozen basket! I really want that DRRRESS!!” she exclaimed numerous times happily jumping in my face. She held her hands together as they spun the basket that held the tickets around and around. She stood stock still as the lady pulled out the lime green ticket that held the Frozen movie gift basket’s fate. There was a slight pause as the lady squinted to read the name written on the ticket. Ollie raised both her hands up high in the moment of hope. And then collapsed in utter defeat when the name that was read was not ours…. As soon as we walked out the door of the school’s fellowship hall, nearing 8 o’clock, both girls fell into inconsolable distraught. Fern hollered, squealed, flounced, “I wanna hug Mrs. Sillaaaaaaa, I WANNA HUG MRS. SILLAAAAAAA!” I’ve never seen Ollie so disappointed in my life. Ever. Over and over and over through her high pitched cries that lost breath, “I wanted to win the Frozen baaaaasket! AAAAAaaaahuhuuuuhuuh! I wanted to win it! Mooooommmmmmy! It was so special to meeeeeeee!” …It was a long long 8 minute drive back to our house. The red stoplights mocked me. The woeful wails of my children widened my eyes to full circles, I am sure, as I directed our vehicle over the potholed roads back to our house. At some point I began singing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All”. “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess insiiiiiide, give them a sense of pride, to make it easier…” The singing did not help much to stop the girls howling, but it unquestionably calmed my nerves that were unraveling from the din of their bawling. So grevious in their broken hearts, I undressed them, put them in their nightgowns, held one each knee, still singing til they went silent, “…And if, by chance, that special place that you’ve been dreaming of leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love.”
I’ve been mad at the world lately. I can’t focus on any sort of long term functionality. I can not keep it together and I always feel like I am falling apart.
I’ve had to let a big part of my self die over the past years.
I’ve been angry about how my kid’s daddy up and left, drunk in the middle of the night with a plan to call home crying about how he’d fucked up and for me to please take him back again. When he’d left with another woman. Again. Hell naw, son.
I couldn’t take him back (again). The act would have been a self defeating blow. And, oh! OH! What a tough two years it has been since. Who the hell am I now?
Eric left me with a four year old and a four month old. Girls. Beautiful loving girls.
He left with another woman he’d knocked up when we were splitsville but still involved. You know. Baby daddy shit.
She had her baby in January. And he didn’t see the baby. She came knocking on our door, 90 miles away in February.
I gave them room. He met the baby. Another girl.
He’d said. He’d promised. He wanted to stay with me.
And, by God. I was willing to try. I was willing to reach. One more deep down try.
I went for a walk with Ollie. We left Fern with him. We came back. The woman and the baby were gone. Eric was there with Fern.
I felt some sense of closure. Some sense of peace. We went and ate Mexican food.
We put the girls to bed. We watched television together. I went to bed.
He left in the middle of the morning. Eight beers deep, left on the TV table.
It was Valentine’s Day when I woke up with my four year old and my four month old. Ollie came into my room. Asked, “Where’s Daddy?”
I said, “Is he gone?”
“Yes,” she said. In her four year old’s voice.
After a day of being gone her Daddy called and called begging for me to come and get him. I couldn’t . I just couldn’t. And I shouldn’t have. And I didn’t.
And ever since then, many days I am either mad. Or sad. Or solitary. Or tired. And down. Little motivation. I struggle to keep up the patience. Or the laundry. And the dishes. The homework. The loving attention. The baths. Nutrition? The bills. Friendships? Music? Exercise? Fuck! Work! All this other stuff!?! Some days I can’t accomplish anything what with the weight of all I feel I have to accomplish at hand.
I can’t concentrate on anything but loathing life when the house gets too out of hand in the untidy department. But if I were to spend everyday picking up after my girls, there would never be time for anything else, so the house does get messy. And it does effect my mood. I HATE my home being messy. It brings me loooooooowwwww dowwwwwwn.
I’m not rich. I don’t have a maid. So there’s not much I can do about it except do the best I can. And, the best I can fluctuates to sundry degrees great and small.
Thinking about it now. If I did have a maid, she’d have to have an accent. Preferably, an English one. Because what could be more cheery than that?
All this talk of anger. Least I am aware. And I’m trying to let it go.